Mixing opinions with facts

There is no such thing as an unbiased opinion. There are facts that are unbiased. Like the laws of physics for instance. But opinion?

Opinion comes from the perspective of where we stand. Yet, we try to sell opinion as fact all the time by window dressing it as impartial. Because no one would buy a newspaper that says, “Well, we tried to be as fair and balanced as possible.”

As a result we often state something as fact that isn’t actually true.

Teens are still learning this: How you feel isn’t the same as what is actually happening.

Losing My Religion

By 1990, REM was getting burnt out on the road from constantly touring. They were well known amongst their core fans at this point but they haven’t had a real mega hit yet.

To get out of their rut, Peter Buck, the guitarist, started playing the mandolin. He had to learn the instrument and eventually came up with the main riff for the song Losing My Religion.

After that, the rest became history. The song helped sell the record, Out of Time, which became one of the best selling albums in the era.


Because they applied a new constraint. They didn’t just keep insisting the work had to be done a certain way. Instead, the constraint they added challenged them to write a song differently.

Constraints are not the enemy. They help us define the edges and force us to do our best work despite the limitations.

The challenges you are facing at home might be because the field is too large. Too many choice, too many directions to choose. Instead, define the constraints.


Fishing is one of those activities that is easy to get frustrated with and give up.

That’s because we focus too much on the result rather than the process.

We forget, there is a difference between fishing the right way and fishing our way.

You can be easily fishing the right way and not be getting the results you desire.


Using the right processes, increases your chances of landing something. No guarantees.

How much does this Facebook post affect my reputation?

Because when we ask this question, we might stop and hesitate what we share.

When we realize that our boss or our parents or best friend may see this rant, we might choose to act differently.

There is no telling who will see it and when because it is semi-permanent.

The truth is, you will feel different about the situation in 48-hours (and for sure years to come).

When is the last time a Facebook post changed our mind about anything? You are not there to change minds but to amplify a voice in our head.

Be careful, when we log into Facebook we are stepping into the argument room.

The reason I stopped using Facebook (besides the fact it is a waste of time) is because I got into a disagreement with someone who lives in California and my neighbor in Utah was able to read it. She said, “That doesn’t sound like Josh.” She was right and I was embarrassed. There are no degrees of separation anymore.

100 days

Sometimes we make the gap to becoming an expert so large that we can never cross it. But it doesn’t have to be that big of a bridge to cross.

If you simply dedicate the next 100 days in doing something creative, what would happen?

Produce 100 blog posts and a few good ones that you are proud of will surface. Create podcasts or oil paintings or notes on a music sheet, same story.

Once we ship creative work for 100 days in a row, that’s sufficient in telling ourselves a different story. One that says that we belong–it is a skill that each of us can learn.

And the other side effect is a run. When we start a run of sitting at the computer and writing a blog post every day (just like going to the gym for 3 months straight) it is powerful enough to create a habit.

“Well, of course, I need to sit down and write again today, I am on day 1,750. I don’t want to break my streak.”

It works to shed the excuses.

How’s your day going?

Most days are “fine”, “good”, “okay”, “busy.” Overall, they are ordinary.

Because the grind is real. Day in and day out with ordinary tasks, some more urgent than others.

Yet with time, we often look back at the struggle with rose-colored glasses and with fondness. We look forward with optimism that our position will improve.

The question I have is, why can’t we look at the now with such confidence? Is being too tired and too busy too draining for us to be hopeful?

The outlook on the world is merely a choice.

“It’s not the critic that counts”

Teddy said that.

He was right.

Because what have they contributed? If they don’t like the work, it’s likely because it wasn’t for them.

Don’t like the Lord of the Ring? Think it was too long? Tolkien didn’t write it for you.

Don’t understand the fascination with Rocky Horror Picture Show? Don’t worry, there are others that do.

And yet, if we are going to challenge the status quo, for a small moment, we have to become a critic.

Innovation hinges on the critic who recognizes something is broken, but more importantly, cares enough to fix it. It’s having the guts to say, “I can make this better.”

Rare indeed.

Fool me once

150 years ago, Mark Twain said, “It’s easier to fool people than to convince them they’ve been fooled.”

Fake news travels six times faster than the truth. How?

Because it’s easier to click a thumbs up or share button than it is to discuss.

If it came from your friend, you are more likely to accept it as fact.

And if it’s viral, you don’t want to be the one who missed out.

This isn’t an argument of facts. The facts can be found in ten seconds by simply Googling it.

This is a problem with feedback. The feedback we receive based on algothrims designed by a couple hundred engineers in Silicon Valley.

When we turn the keys of our decision making over to someone else, we give up agency. And too often, we are so desperate to let others decide for us.

When we don’t decide, someone else will for us.

The limit isn’t environmental

Contrary to popular believe, goldfish can actually out grow the bowl they are kept in.

Most fish are indeterminate growers. Meaning, they can grow until the day they die.

It turns out, what’s more important than the size of tank is the quality of water and nutrition–Are they well taken care of? The size of the bowl has nothing to do with it.

We get it wrong with people too:

A) We can grow larger than the expectations people set on us. Larger than the culture and environment we grew up in.

B) We can also continue to grow until the day we die too. Not physically of course. But there is no end to the lessons we can learn.

The unlived life

Each of us has two lives. The live we live and the unlived life. In between that stands Resistance.

Resistance doesn’t want us to reach our potential. It doesn’t want us to build the courage to step into the unknown to see what will happen.

And because of the journey ahead isn’t likely to succeed without maximum effort, we feel a pull to prepare.


We prepare by becoming more efficient. We save time by outsourcing everything we can. (We don’t use horses anymore, we drive. We don’t look for news, it comes to us. We order fast food instead of making dinner.)

We are all busy. Busy is the main excuse why we can’t achieve our goals. Yet, we are saving more time than ever before.

The question is: What are you doing to cross the chasm with all the time you save? How much closer are you to living the unlived life?